Toni Morrison’s Beloved and Khaled Hosseini’s The Kite Runner

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Beloved by Toni Morrison is a fictional novel that discusses the oppressive essence of slavery. In the fact that most of the characters seem to have lost their sense of self-worth, Sethe stands out. When staying with Denver, she is constantly reminded of her history due to the ghost of Beloved, who is a reincarnation of the daughter she murdered. Morrison presents this work in a tactical and precise manner. Sethe is attempting to transcend the impact of her slavery history in her present life, but there are certain truths she cannot embrace. In fact, she realizes that the ghost is a reincarnation of her daughter she killed with a saw in a show of love to protect her from the inhuman slavery (Morrison 79). As the story indicates, Sethe went through the horror of slavery while working at Sweet home with the family of Garner, however, when Mr. Garner died, schoolteacher practiced the worst slavery and reduced Sethe and others to subhuman.
Sethe’s experience with most slaves dying or becoming mad compel her to resolve regaining her self-value through her children. In fact, in her new home after slavery, she is fond of stealing food from the restaurant rather than lining up like other people in the neighborhood. Sethe’s efforts to discard the memories of slavery experience are confronted by the reincarnation of beloved who she try to impress by giving in to her demands. It is worth to note that as Sethe submit to the desires of Beloved, so was she submissive to her master at sweet home. In essence, in as much as Sethe try to break bond with her past, reemergence of the ghost of beloved is a stark reminder of inexplicable past suffering (Morrison 114). It can also be noted that Sethe eventually decide to completely disengage from answering to the calls of Beloved when she disappears into the thin air as Mr.Bodwin comes. The connection with the past can also be seen when Sethe runs fiercely to strike Mr. Bodwin with ice pick, mistaking him to schoolteacher. In this scene, it is evident that Sethe is still bitter and remember her past. Sethe is the main protagonist and her slavery experience and encounter with the ghost helps in development of the storyline, development of themes and relevance of literary techniques of writing. Besides, she is representative of the oppressed Black voices that weathered the humiliating slavery in the US
In the case of Khaled Hosseini, Amir has a bitter past that he can’t delink himself from. While he narrates his past from California, United States, it is clear that his present is a development of the past (Hosseini 46). Amir from childhood had a father who apparently had a son with his servant’s wife. The boy is Hassan. While Amir tried to relate with his father, there was an evident gap which is attributed to the social beliefs that a child that kill the mother at birth is bad omen. Amir’s narration also explores the fact that discrimination based on ethnic background play key role in the Afghan society. In the transition from kingship to democracy and the invasion of Soviet, Amir has had a lot of bad experience to forget. Amir’s effort to revive the psychological stability of Sohrab provokes the memories of the past. It is noted that one character Asef who raped Hasan did the same to Sohrab under the new democratic regime lead by president. The difference is that Asef is employed as a security official and feel immune to any government sanction for atrocities committed such as rape. In fact, he beats Amir until he is admitted to the hospital. However, Amir feels that receiving such a beating has helped in cleansing his guilt and conscious in satisfying the wish of the father. At one point, it is noted that Amir’s father tells him to stand up for himself. In other words, self-defense is a critical tool for personal growth in Afghan community. While Amir make frantic efforts to redeem himself as his father expected, he has to whether difficult circumstances against Taliban to take Sohrab. The second encounter with Asef is symbolic of the human past as likely to live with him into the present and even future (Hosseini 89). In essence, the current California residence of Amir and his family is courtesy of a series of socio-economic and political oppression in home country. Although he escape with Sohrab, the rib injuries and mouth scars will live with him into the future, constantly reminding him of the dark past in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Amir is the major character and his narration helps in developing the plot, themes and literary tools. Besides, his experience explores the cultural challenges that characterize average Afghani.
Comparative analysis of the characters discussed in the two literary works reveals the fact that past experiences that influence one’s life cannot easily be forgotten. While there are claims of focusing on the future and shedding the dark past, the two authors although addressing complete different themes, shows ideological convergence in terms of how past may not be erased.The values developed are a cumulative result of past experiences.

Works cited
Hosseini, Khaled. The Kite Runner. London: Bloomsbury, 2011. Print.
Morrison, Toni. Beloved: A Novel. New York: Vintage International, 2004. Internet resource.

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